News

The ugly truth about that "grieving roo" photograph

A male kangaroo holds the dead mother of a joey.
A male kangaroo holds the dead mother of a joey. Evan Switzer

SCIENCE has shattered the dreams of thousands of animal-lovers who were touched by a photo of two kangaroos in an embrace.

The photo taken by Fraser Coast photographer Ewan Switzer has captured the imagination of thousands of people across the world, but the real meaning behind it is not so touching.

The image shows a male Eastern Grey Kangaroo seemingly cradling a dead female kangaroo, appearing to mourn its death.

RELATED: 

"Grieving kangaroo" photographs go viral worldwide

Photographer captures kangaroo family's grief

10 kangaroos that bounced their way into headlines

But Australian Museum principal researcher Mark Eldridge said the picture instead captured a mating ritual.

"He is very wet on the arms and chest which means he is very hot and bothered," he said.

Dr Eldridge said it looked like the male was lifting the dead kangaroo.

"Or he may be trying to rub his chest on her, which is another thing they do," he said.

TOUCHING MOMENT: A male kangaroo clutches what appears to be the dead mother of a Joey.
TOUCHING MOMENT: A male kangaroo clutches what appears to be the dead mother of a Joey. Evan Switzer

Dr Eldridge said it was common for kangaroos to rub their chest on females as part of a courting ritual.

"He is, as you can see from the back of the photo, sexually aroused," he said.

"It's very much a pretext of trying to mate with what seems to be an uncooperative female."

Dr Eldridge said it was common for humans to misinterpret animal behaviour.

"I think humans tend to view the whole world from their perspective," he said.

He said that tendency often led observers astray when it came to interpreting the inner workings of the animal kingdom.

Topics:  editors picks fraser coast hervey bay kangaroo photograph river heads science



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

CLOSED: Massive clothing chain shuts down for good

Sixty-eight stores employing 560 people will close by January 31

Fraser Coast fuel prices low compared to south

Hervey Bay motorists were paying 130.9 cents a litre for unleaded petrol on Monday.

Sunshine Coast had the most expensive fuel.

Sentimental items still missing after Christmas break-in

STOLEN: Jacqui Stewart stands beside a ransacked cabinet, where her father's Air Force pins and commemorative statue should be.

Some property found, but most valuable items feared lost forever.

Local Partners

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

Nicole reveals her biggest parenting challenges

Actress Nicole Kidman.

Nicole Kidman says her kids are ‘deeply attuned' to her moods.

Suicide Squad director reveals his regrets about the film

Margot Robbie in a scene from the movie Suicide Squad.

DIRECTOR of superhero flick on what he’d change about ‘flawed’ film.

Meet the new Marco on MasterChef Australia: Yotam Ottolenghi

Israeli-born, London-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi will be a guest chef for a week on the 2017 season of MasterChef Australia.

AFTER Marco’s defection to Seven, MasterChef signs a true food hero.

Big Bang spin-off to be about kid Sheldon

Jim Parsons in a scene from the TV series The Big Bang Theory.

Actor Jim Parsons has dished on an upcoming Big Bang Theory spin-off

How Adam Brand’s Nashville dream fell apart

Country music singer Adam Brand talks about how heartbreak stopped him chasing his Nashville dream.

SINGER reveals how heartbreak stopped him from chasing his dream.

Stockland's $150m pitch: Build it and they will come

Gladstone Marina. The Gladstone Regional Council offers a range of exciting job opportunities. Photo Contributed: Murray Ware.

Here's why we need to see Stockland upgrade start soon.

First home buyers the "lifeblood” of Fraser Coast market

CoreLogic property statistics reveal the region's median house price of $300,000 did not change in the September quarter.

Median house price of $300,000 remains steady in September quarter

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!